The primary goal of foster care is to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of the children. Children in foster care are in great need of structure, patience and unconditional love. It is common for foster children to exhibit “acting out” behaviors such as defiance, opposition and physical aggression; but many foster children have special needs that extend beyond common behavioral or emotional issues. These foster care cases are referred to as “specialized”.
Specialized foster care children have suffered severe trauma and have extreme behavioral or medical issues. These cases require extra support, time and attention. The number of children in specialized foster care is growing and the need for specialized foster parents is more pertinent than ever.
Like traditional foster care, specialized foster parents provide services to children, 0-18, who have been removed from their birth family due to abuse or neglect. These can be children whose behaviors are leading them on the path to residential placement or children who are being stepped down from a residential setting. In addition to the basic requirements for traditional foster care, foster parents in the specialized programs are provided with additional training in the Trauma Focused Treatment Program to become specialized foster parents. This training is designed to help foster parents develop the skills needed to work with children who have moderate to severe behavioral problems. The specialized foster care program also includes respite care to provide needed relief, a high payment rate to meet the needs of the child, intensive worker support, involvement in a treatment team and other flexible services to support the foster parent in meeting the needs of the child.
If you have thought about becoming a foster parent or would like more information please call Mary Savage at 618.258.8778 or click here.